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BOOKSTORES

Bankruptcy judge OKs Borders liquidation

Borders Group’s liquidation plan is set to proceed after receiving approval from a bankruptcy judge.

A judge on Thursday approved the 40-year-old bookseller’s plan to appoint liquidators led by Hilco Merchant Resources and Gordon Brothers Group to sell off its assets. Going-out-of-business sales are set to begin at some stores Friday.

About 30 to 35 of the stores could be sold to rival chain Books-a-Million Inc., but the two companies are still in talks.

Books-A-Million, based in Birmingham, Ala., will become the second-largest U.S. bookseller after Borders liquidates. It operates more than 200 stores in 23 states and the District of Columbia.

Borders, in Ann Arbor, Mich., filed for bankruptcy protection in February. It said earlier this week it planned to liquidate after a potential private-equity bid fell through.

OIL

Crude tops $100 for first time since early June

NEW YORK | Oil topped $100 per barrel on Thursday for the first time since early June on an improving outlook for the U.S. economy, and European leaders moved closer to agreement on more financial aid for Greece.

The Conference Board said its index of leading economic indicators rose 0.3 percent in June. The increase suggested the economy won’t fall back into a recession over the next few months, even with high unemployment and a weak housing market.

Officials in Europe prepared a new rescue package for Greece at an emergency summit in Brussels. The move strengthened the euro relative to the dollar. Oil, which is priced in dollars, tends to rise as the dollar weakens and makes crude cheaper for investors holding foreign currencies.

GOOGLE

Lobbying bill tops $2 million

SAN FRANCISCO | Google Inc.’s quarterly lobbying expenses surpassed $2 million for the first time during the spring and early summer amid U.S. government scrutiny that hatched a wide-ranging investigation into the Internet search leader’s business practices.

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